AS Monaco 1 – 1 Paris Saint-Germain

Original article can be found here.

Paris Saint-Germain missed the chance to go eight-points clear at the top of Ligue 1 against Monaco, as Thiago Silva’s late own goal gave both sides a share of the spoils.

Javier Pastore celebrates opening the scoring against Monaco. (©GettyImages)
Javier Pastore celebrates opening the scoring against Monaco. (©GettyImages)

PSG dominated possession in the early stages and took the lead inside 10 minutes; Javier Pastore heading the ball past Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic after Thiago Motta’s inswinging corner was flicked on.

Monaco were spurred on by the goal and almost replied immediately; Joao Moutinho’s drive taking a deflection with Salvatore Sirigu beaten.

The hosts went close again soon after; winger Lucas Ocampos’ early cross finding Emmanuel Riviere whose close-range effort was put behind by Sirigu.

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic displayed his lethal ability with a number of chances in the first half;  most notably hitting a 30 yard free-kick which was well saved by Subasic.

Pastore wasted a chance to extend PSG’s lead after half an hour; his effort visibly angering Ibrahimovic who had to wait to add to his tally of 31 for the season.

As the first half drew to a close, both sides committed scrappy fouls and referee Stéphane Lannoy was forced to brandish three yellow cards.

The home side appeared invigorated for the second half and initially took control of the match. However, this was short-lived as Ibrahimovic again went close with a dipping free-kick which Subasic did well to palm wide.

Monaco continued to up the ante but struggled to test the goalkeeper, however Sirigu almost gifted them an equaliser just after the hour mark, after an embarrassing defensive mix-up.

PSG new-boy, ex-Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye, was introduced with half an hour on the clock, as was fellow Premier League star Dimitar Berbatov – on loan from strugglers Fulham – although neither had time to make an impact.

The visitors dictated the play throughout, playing calmly, without urgency but had themselves to blame when they conceded with 15 minutes left to play.

Monaco full-back Fabinho found space on the edge of the area and hit a cross, which PSG captain Thiago Silva turned into his own net, as his attempted clearance went awry.

Experienced centre-back, Eric Abidal, also went close to throwing away a precious point as he bizarrely walked the ball towards his own goal with Ibrahimovic lurking.

With seconds left, goalscorer Fabinho intercepted the ball in an almost identical position but took one touch too many and Sirigu made a comfortable save.

The result leaves Monaco still trailing the leaders by five points and, with 14 games to play; the title race is still seemingly wide open.

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